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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA FIRST REPORT OF THE PROHIBITION COMMISSIONER FOR THE YEAR ENDING DECEMBER… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1920

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Full Text

 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
FIE8T EEPOET
OF
THE PROHIBITION COMMISSIONER
FOR   THE
Year Ending December 31st
1919
printed by
authority of the legislative assembly.
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by William H.  Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1920.  To Colonel the Honourable Edward Gawler Prior,
A Member of the King's Privy Council for Canada,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour :
The undersigned has the honour to submit herewith the Report under the " Prohibition Act" for the year ended December 31st, 1919.
J. W. de B. FARRIS,
Attorney-General.
March 17th, 1920.
M  45 Office of the Prohibition Commissioner,
Victoria, B.C., March 1st, 1920.
The Honourable J. W. de B. Farris,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit my report under section 56 of the " British
Columbia Prohibition Act " for the year ended December 31st, 1919.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
J. SCLATER,
Prohibition Commissioner.
M 40 BRITISH COLUMBIA PROHIBITION ACT.
REPORT BY THE COMMISSIONER.
(1.)  Liquor Sales.
A statement of the sales of liquor made by each Vendor during the year is shown in Appendix
No. 1.   The kind and quantity of the various liquors sold are shown in Appendix No. 2.
(2.) Prosecutions.
A list of convictions obtained throughout the Province for infractions of the Act is shown
in Appendix No. 3 (not printed).   As far as the returns received in this Department disclose, the
following is a summary of the various infractions of the Act included in the list of convictions:—
Number of prosecutions—
For selling liquor       89
Having liquor in possession    663
Against doctors         9
Against druggists         5
Against breweries      11
General infraction of Act     51
Not stated      6S
896
Number of convictions    805
Number of cases dismissed     91
Fines and forfeitures—
Total amount of fines imposed  $54,659 00
Bail forfeited       5,650 00
Bonds estreated       9,000 00
$69,309 00
Seutences—
Sentences imposed without option of fine    50
Total duration of above   29% years.
The returns made to this Department during the year under section 45 of the Act were far
from complete. Under this section Justices are required to forward only certificates of conviction,
which would not provide the information I have to report under section 50 (b), which calls for
a list of prosecutions. I was therefore compelled to obtain most of the information as to prosecutions submitted herewith from Chiefs of Police throughout the Province. In order to provide a
means of collecting this information in future, it is recommended that section 45 be rescinded,
and that an amendment to the Act be passed to have Chiefs of Police of all cities and municipal
districts send in monthly reports to the Commissioner, showing all prosecutions taken under the
Act, with date of trial, name of accused, nature of charge, disposition of each case, and name
of presiding Magistrate; the Superintendent of Provincial Police to render a similar report
monthly of all prosecutions taken by his constables in the unorganized districts.
Prosecutions for Illegal Sale of Liquor.—Under section 28 (1) of the Act, the penalty upon
a conviction for selling liquor is imprisonment, with hard labour, for not less than six months
and not more than twelve months, for a first offence, without the option of a fine. After a close
study of the effect of this penalty the Commissioner can only state that in' his opinion the
severity of the penalty is thwarting the very purpose it was intended to serve—viz., to prevent
the illegal sale of liquor by the conviction and punishment of those who engage in this unlawful
practice. There would appear to be ground for believing that more convictions would be obtained
if Magistrates had the option of imposing a fine for the first offence, and, in default of payment,
imprisonment, as is done in other Provinces, with better results in enforcing the law in this
respect throughout this Province.
M 47 M 48
British Columbia Prohibition Act.
1920
(3.) General Information.
(1.) Industrial and Steamship Permits.— (Issued under section 14, subsection (2a).) During
the year 323 permits were issued, viz.: (a) To persons in charge of a manufacturing or industrial establishment, 232;   (b) to masters of steam or passenger ships, 91.
When the present Prohibition Commissioner was appointed (January 23rd, 1919) it was
found by him that permits under this section had been issued without any date of termination
or without any provision being made for showing on the permits the quantity of liquor obtained
on each. It wras considered that the issue of permits in this form was, to say the least, inadvisable, as no clear record could be obtained of the use made of them without much labour in
searching through the reports sent in by druggists and vendors. Accordingly, all permits of this
nature were called in, and new permits, terminating on December 31st, 1919, were issued, which
were numbered consecutively and recorded in a book started for that purpose, and at the same
time instructions were issued to druggists and vendors that each sale of liquor on such a permit
had to be filled in on the back of each one at the time of sale, with the name of the person making
the sale, as well as showing the number of the permit on the reports of sales made to this office.
By this means a record of the use made of each permit was made possible. In every instance
of seemingly undue use of the permit in obtaining liquor inquiries were instituted, and in several
instances, when the explanation given was not considered satisfactory, the permits were withdrawn and cancelled. It is doubtful if the issue of these permits should be continued without
discretionary power being given to the Commissioner to refuse a permit in instances in which it
is considered unnecessary or inadvisable to issue one, such as to individuals in cities where first
aid can be readily and quickly obtained, or to persons in charge of establishments where the risk
of injury by accident is slight, or where the number of persons employed is small. Indeed, in
view of the requirements of the Workmen's Compensation Board as to the installation of first-aid
equipment in all manufacturing or industrial establishments of any size throughout the Province,
it is very questionable if there is any real need for the issuance of any permit to obtain and
keep liquor in case of accident or emergency, especially in view of the great number of such
establishments who do without it. It is recommended, therefore, that the issue of these permits
be rescinded.
(2.) Permits to Hospitals to keep-Liquor.— (Issued under section 14, subsection (2).) A
certain number of permits to hospitals had been issued by the former Commissioner on a typewritten form, but no clear record had been kept of these. Accordingly, the provisions of this
section were brought to the notice of the person in charge of every hospital throughout the
Province. The permits that had been issued were recalled, and new permits, which were printed
and numbered consecutively, were issued to all hospitals requiring same. Ninety-seven permits
were issued during the year 1919.
(3.) Permits for Alcohol to Manufacturers of Pharmaceutical Preparations, etc.— (Issued
under section 14, subsection (9).) These have been issued for limited quantities as required
from time to time, principally to druggists and manufacturing chemists, 198 permits being issued
during the year. Care has been taken to see that all applications under this section have been
for bona-fide purposes before permits were.issued. Under section 7, subsections (la) and (3),
alcohol not exceeding in quantity 10 gallons at any one time may be purchased upon an affidavit
that the alcohol is required for manufacturing, mechanical, or scientific purposes only (Form A
of the Regulations). It is recommended that this be rescinded, and that, instead, alcohol for the
above-mentioned purposes also be obtained upon a permit from the Commissioner as in section 14,
subsection (9), and that all persons obtaining alcohol under permit be required to render reports
showing for what purpose the alcohol has been used when demanded by the Commissioner.
(4.) Price-list of Liquors sold by Government Vendors.—The prices at which the various
t liquors authorized to be kept by Government Vendors are sold have been fixed from time to time
by Order in Council. On account of the ignorance and misunderstanding as to these prices wThich
existed throughout the Province at the time the present Commissioner took charge of the Department, causing much unnecessary trouble and correspondence in the Government Liquor Stores,
it was deemed necessary to issue a printed price-list of liquors so that druggists, physicians, and
others, residing outside of the two large Coast cities of Vancouver and Victoria, requiring to send
by mail applications and prescriptions for liquor, might know just what amount of cash to remit
in each instance.    Accordingly, this list was printed and issued as at April 1st, subsequent correc- 10 Geo. 5
Report by the Commissioner.
M 49
tions being printed and issued from time to time as circumstances required.    A similar practice
has been followed in the Province of Alberta.
(5.) Physicians' Prescriptions for Liquor.—Appendix No. 4 shows the total number of
prescriptions for liquor issued by physicians during the year. Pursuant to the amendment to
section 7, subsection (6), of the Act passed at the last session of the Legislature, an Order in
Council was approved on April 26th, 1919, providing for the adoption of a printed form of
prescription to be issued to physicians, to come into force on June 1st, 1919. Accordingly, a
form of prescription was printed complying with the interpretation of a " prescription" in
section 2 of the Act. All physicians in the Province qualified to prescribe liquor were duly
notified of this regulation, and these printed forms of prescription have since been issued by this
Department, a record being kept of all prescriptions so issued. Towards the end of the year it
was discovered that attempts were being made to counterfeit these forms, and steps were
immediately taken to have a special watermarked paper manufactured, on which these prescription forms could be printed, which would prevent, or at least render extremely difficult, any
attempt at counterfeiting being made successfully. Government Vendors, druggists, Chiefs of
Municipal and District Police, as well as Provincial Police, were notified to be on the watch for
and to deal with any attempts to obtain liquor on counterfeit prescription forms. Although in
spite of these precautions some counterfeit forms were presented to and accepted by druggists
in Vancouver, the activity of the police and the steps taken to educate the druggists how to detect
counterfeits prevented any great use being made of these, and eventually put a stop to it. The
difficulty of proving guilty knowledge on the part of persons presenting these counterfeits, which
the Police Magistrate of Vancouver decided was essential in a case tried before him in December,
in order to obtain convictions against these persons, made the task of the police in dealing with
this situation rather difficult.
In connection with prescriptions for liquor the following recommendation is submitted for
consideration:—
That amendments be passed to the Act:—
(a.) Making it an offence to traffic in prescriptions, or for any person other than a
physician to give or sell a prescription to another person,  and putting on the
person presenting the prescription the onus of proving that it was lawfully in
his possession, with a heavy penalty for contravention:
(6.)  Fixing a definite limit to the quantity of alcohol, spirits, wine, or malt liquors
that may be prescribed by any physician to any one person at one time:
(c.)  Fixing a definite limit to the number of prescriptions for liquor that any one person
may obtain in any one week:
(<?.) Making it compulsory on physicians to fill in the particulars required on the stubs
of the prescription forms at the time the prescription is written;   these stubs to
be kept for six months and to be produced for inspection on the demand of the
Commissioner or any agent appointed by him in writing for the purpose:
(e.)  Fixing the maximum number of prescriptions for liquor (exclusive of alcohol) that
may be issued by any one physician in any one month (see letter dated July 21st,
1919, from the Registrar of the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons
of British Columbia) :
(/.)  Making prescriptions for liquor not presented to a druggist or a Government Vendor
within forty-eight hours after being issued by a physician, or mailed within that
time by any person residing at a distance of more than five miles from the nearest
drug-store or Vendor's store, illegal,  and the giving or selling of liquor to the
person presenting such prescriptions an offence.
(6.) Reports by Druggists.—(Under section 14, subsection  (7).)    It was difficult at first
after the appointment of the present Commissioner to obtain reports promptly from druggists
as required by the regulations, and after due notice had been mailed to every registered druggist
in the Province that reports must be rendered promptly, a charge was laid against a firm of
druggists in Vancouver who had failed to comply therewith, as a final warning in this respect,
a conviction being obtained.    Since then reports have been received more regularly.
The following recommendation is submitted for consideration:— That amendments to the Act be passed:—
(a.) Making it necessary for all prescriptions for liquor or alcohol honoured by druggists
to accompany their reports each month to the Commissioner:
(o.)  Fixing the maximum quantity of liquor, exclusive of alcohol, that any druggist may
purchase from a Vendor in any one day or keep on his premises:
(c.)  Making a druggist obtain all alcohol required by him upon  a permit from the
Commissioner;  section 7, subsection (lb), to be amended accordingly:
(d.)  Making druggists sell liquor only in sealed bottles as received from the Government
Vendor, and at prices to be fixed from time to time by Order in Council.
(7.)  Selling of Beer containing not more than 2%  per Cent,  of Proof Spirits.—In  this
connection it is recommended for consideration :—
That amendments to the Act be passed:—
(a.)  Compelling breweries to label bottles containing beer manufactured and sold by
them with a distinctive label showing the name of the brewery or brewing company,
place where beer was brewed, and the alcoholic contents:
(6.) Making it illegal for any person to sell beer in bottles that are not so labelled:
(c.)  Compelling breweries  to  show  clearly  on barrels  containing  beer  that may be
manufactured aud sold by them the name of the brewery, place where beer was
brewed, and the alcoholic contents :
(d.)  Making it illegal for any person to sell beer from barrels not so marked:
(e.)  Making a certificate of any Provincial or City Analyst prima facie evidence under
section 36a of the Act.
(8.)  Sale of Extracts.—General complaints have been made against the sale of extracts
containing a very high percentage of alcohol, which are mixed with beer and other liquids for
beverage purposes, producing violent intoxication in those drinking these mixtures.    The extracts
referred to comprise extract of ginger, extract of lemon, and Hoffmann's Drops, which appear
to be those most generally used.   It is very desirable that the sale of these extracts and others
of a like nature be restricted in every possible way.    The passing of legislation that would
prohibit the sale of these, except in drug-stores, is recommended for consideration, and only
by druggists under regulations providing for the restricted sale for household use by well-knowTn
residents, with a complete record of each sale being kept and sent in to this Department monthly.
(9.) Liquor Warehouses for Export Sale of Liquor.— (Under section 19.)    All liquor warehouses under this section were regularly inspected during the year,  but owing to the Order in
Council of the Dominion Government being in effect throughout the year, prohibiting the importation of liquor into Canada, no liquor was received into or delivered from these warehouses during
the year.
(10.) Purchase and Supply of Liquor for Government Stores.—The purchase of all liquor
for the Government Liquor Stores since the present Commissioner's appointment has been made
by the Purchasing Agent of the Government upon requisition -duly approved by the Commissioner.
Up to July 31st the Vendors at Vancouver and Victoria made these requisitions for their
respective stores. On August 1st a liquor warehouse was established in Vancouver for the
receipt of all liquor purchased and the distribution to the Vendors of ail liquor required by
them. From August 1st all requisitions for the purchase of liquor were issued by the Manager
of the Liquor Warehouse. All liquor is sold by the Vendors just as it is received by the
Government; no blending, mixing, or reducing of any kind is permitted. While it has been
difficult at times to maintain a supply of liquor sufficient to meet the demands made upon the
Vendors from day to day, which kept increasing towards the end of the year to an extent quite
unlooked for, yet the unexpected and difficult situation this created was met by the Purchasing
Agent with commendable judgment. Every effort was made by him to obtain a supply of liquor
for medicinal purposes of well-known brands of manufacture, as far as these were available and
could be purchased, both in Canada and abroad, at reasonable prices and without undue delay.
Any shortcomings in maintaining liquor-supplies were due to circumstances which could not be
provided against. The past year has been a very strenuous one for the Commissioner, the
Purchasing Agent, and the employees of this Department.
J. SCLATER,
i Prohibition Commissioner.
Parliament Buildings, March 1st, 1920. 10 Geo. 5
Report by the Commissioner.
M 51
APPENDICES.
APPENDIX No. 1.
Government Liquor Vendor's Daily Sales.
Month.
January	
February	
March	
April	
May	
June	
July	
August	
September....
October 	
November....
December ....
Totals
$48,476 13
51,498 64
69,258 98
61,497 54
86,235 43
52,102 88
76,363 29
101,899 57
126,447 78
166,629 00
170,803 05
247,650 12
81,257,862 41
$11.
12.
14.
12
15.
14.
18!
23.
31,
,808 66
,826 05
,376 80
,562 05
,342 71
,654 54
.997 03
799 67
951 85
S.758 90
>,973 75
!,130 60
1,182 31
Nanaimo.
$1,079 25
1,300 50
1,988 50
2,190 50
2,465 00
1,081 25
1,107 30
1,890 75
2,535 25
3,131 00
3,717 00
5,656 75
$22,486 30
Prince
Rupert.
$20 00*
18 00*
60 00*
10 00*
2,944 70
$2,944 70
Cranbrook.
$479 15*
21 77*
376 00*
388 25*
16 00*
New
Denver.
$616 65*
117 75*
Quesnel.
$110 50*
137 00*
86 75*
14 0C*
10 70*
* Included in Vancouver.
Total sales, $1,579,475.72.
APPENDIX No. 2.
Approximate Amount of Liquor received and sold during 1919.
Liquor.
Received.
Sold.
5,7S6
5,420
1,000
818
5,618
4,313
830
508
500
265
9,301
9,051
9,876
8,323
1,099
1,085
26,878
25,380
8,600
8.767
12,805
12,281
840
445
1,742
1,362
45
35
288
48
1,830
105
634
325
80
12
6
6
484
446
30
30
106
47
Brandy       gals.
„        .  cases
Alcohol      gals.
Gin       gals.
„  cases
Scotch Whisky      gals.
,,  .*.. cases
Irish Whisky      „
Rye Whisky -.-    gals.
„    cases
Rum       gals.
Sherry     ,
Port          „
Champagne       cases
Stout (imported)      doz. quarts
„    doz. pints
„  doz. splits
Ale (imported)       doz.
    bbls.
Beer  (local)     doz.
Stout (local)	
St. Augustine Wine	
APPENDIX No. 4.
Total Number of Prescriptions for Liquor honoured at Government Liquor Vendors' Stores
and Drug-stores throughout the Province during the Year ending Dec. 31st, 1919.
Prescriptions issued by Vancouver doctors  181,350
Prescriptions issued by Victoria doctors      54,732
Prescriptions issued by doctors in other places      79,095
Total  315,177 M 52
British Columbia Prohibition Act.
1920
Statement of Prescriptions for Liquor issued by Doctors and honoured by  Government
Liquor Vendors and Druggists throughout the Province.
Vancouver Physicians.
Month.
Vancouver
Vendor.
Vancouver
Druggists.
Outside
Vendors.
Outside
Druggists.
Total.
No. of
Doctors
issuing
Prescriptions.
7,820
7,544
9,577
5,938
6,965
5,264
7,739
9,793
11,124
13,522
13,542
17,814
2,716
2,449
6,049
5,196
9,381
2,569
3,308
4,654
5,425
6,259
6,599
9,127
13
13
2
25
33
10
22
40
29
33
52
134
60
12
33
40
77
12
33
27
42
52
45
136
10,609
10,018
15,661
11,199
16,456
7,855
11,102
14,514
16,620
19,866
20,238
27,211
164
165
May  	
191
185
178
156
161
164
183
187
203
210
Totals   ....
116,642
63,732
406
569
181,349
Victoria Physicians.
Month.
Victoria
Vendor.
Victoria
Druggists.
Outside
Vendors.
Outside
Druggists.
Total.
No. of
Doctors
issuing
Prescriptions.
1,904
2,075
2,272
1,829
2,158
2,066
2,597
3.057
3,729
4,861
4,938
7,089
491
414
546
522
469
444
493
522
661
717
657
734
4
10
7
11
9
17
34
22
35
45
51
99
3
4
18
9
9
13
20
12
37
18
2,402
2,503
2,825
2,362
2,654
2,536
3,133
3,614
4,445
5,635
5,683
7,940
47
45
43
46
May  	
July  	
August  	
September    	
51
46
50
53
59
61
67
68
Totals   	
38,575
.  6,670
344
143
54,732
Outside Physicians.
Month.
At Vendors.
At Druggists.
Total.
No. of
Doctors
issuing
Prescriptions.
January   	
February    ....
March   	
April   	
May  	
June   	
July  	
August   	
September    . ..
October   	
November   ....
December   ....
Totals
1,434
1,223
1,139
1,501
2,062
1,427
1,696
2,242
2,676
4,044
4,101
6,735
30,279
3,173
3,178
2,607
3,228
4,355
2,796
3,592
4,083
4,728
5,467
5.834
6,279
49,320
4.278
4,225
3J46
4,729
6,417
4,223
5.288
6,325
7,404
9.511
9,935
13,014
79,095
126
126
129
131
136
127
141
152
159
169
163
163 VICTORIA,  B.C.:
Printed by William H.  Cullin, Printer to the King's  Most Excellent Majesty.
1020.
M 53

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